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of defense, were seen leaving the white house earlier this afternoon. joining me to catch us up is nbc news correspondent kristen welker. >> reporter: thanks for having me. there were high-level meeting at the white house. the national security team met here at the white house to discuss possible policy steps at that they may take in the future. president obama was not at that meeting i am told, but he was briefed by his national security adviser susan rice, as well as the rest of his national security team. as you pointed out, karen, we saw defense secretary chuck hagel leaving the wours early and dni chief james clapper as well as other officials. this comes on a very stern warning yesterday. he said to russia if they were to take military steps in ukraine, that there would be costs associated with that. so the big question is what will those costs be? what are they considering? one white house official telling nbc news that those costs could include a possible boycott of the g-8 summit. that is slated to happen in sochi, russia, the very same place where the olympics were held in june. >
w moscow's actions are appropriate, and they're more about self-defense. from his point of view, the new pro-western government in kiev poses a threat to his interest in ukraine. that's primarily crimea, where today there were even more troops roaming around going from ukraine army or military post to post, as you mentioned in your lead, trying to disarm the ukrainians. when they wouldn't agree to that, surrounding them and neutralizing their bases. but crimea gives putin the essentials he wants and needs. a base for his black sea fleet. he just doesn't seem affected by all the criticism coming from abroad. putin doesn't seem to believe that the u.s. or its allies have the kind of leverage to hurt him, especially when he sees the reaction from russians in a place like here, moscow. in the streets of moscow today, there were literally tens of thousands of demonstrators in support of putin's actions in ukraine with more pro-putin demonstrations expected in the days ahead. so putin, despite all the criticism, has really struck a cord here at home, karen. >> all right. thank you ver
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